Introducing the Steamboat Mountain Challenge – New for 2017!

To further celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Tour de Gap, we’re adding an optional Sunday morning event to the mix. It’s a 7.2 mile hill climb, starting from the same starting line as Saturday’s ride at the Old Settlers Reunion grounds. First you’ll head out of Buffalo Gap to Belle Plain Road. Turning right, you’ll encounter the first short but tough climb up Belle Plain. After a bit, you’ll take another right onto CR 127 and then CR 650 where you’ll have short periods of 13 to 20% grades. Here’s the route. It’s an accomplishment to finish!

Manny Cortez climbs Steamboat from the North
Manny Cortez takes the Steamboat Challenge earlier this year

The ride will be staged as an individual time trial, with riders starting at one minute intervals. You’re welcome to bring supporters to line the route to cheer you on. For spectators, we recommend driving to the top and leaving the car there. It is not a closed course, but your fans can hike down the road to a good viewing spot. There’s a discounted entry fee if you are riding on Saturday, see BikeReg’s registration page for more information, or post a question below.

Clarification on 77 Mile Turn-off

On the 77 mile route, there is a turn at about mile 52 where you can either go left and head toward the finish or go right for the last 25 miles of the 77 mile route. All routes are open until 2:00 pm. The noon deadline is simply for that turn at mile 52. If you are riding the 77 mile route and reach that turn off after noon, you’ll be directed to the finish line. This is done for rider and volunteer safety.

Routes are Marked

We just finished marking the routes for this year’s Tour de Gap. There is one turn at the finish that will not be marked until Friday, but other than that they are done! If anyone plans on looking at them prior to the event, here are the colors:

11 mile = green

27 mile = blue

52 mile = orange

77 mile = red

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